How to Prevent Human Trafficking
Human trafficking ... child slavery ... it's easy to dismiss these problems without thinking twice. No way does that kind of stuff happen here in the United States, right?
Just yesterday, the Washington Post published an article identifying my own home city - Atlanta - as a hub for human trafficking. Stories abound of women who have been able to escape and live the rest of their life in fear.
Unfortunately, human trafficking is difficult to stop because the victims are hard to find. There are many organizations trying to raise awareness of the issue, but it still remains an "out of sight, out of mind" problem. Last month, President Obama declared January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Because it's such a "hidden" problem, it can be hard to know how one person can help stop human trafficking. Here are 8 things you can do to help prevent human trafficking:
- Volunteer at a local organization. The Polaris Project is one of the leading organizations in fighting human trafficking and modern-day slavery in the United States. They've got a great website listing organizations by state.
- Contact your local representatives. Ask them to support anti-trafficking legislation. You can see all pending legislation here.
- Report a Tip. If you have witnessed human trafficking or modern-day slavery firsthand, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. All reports are 100% confidential and interpreters are available.
- Host a Chocolate Campaign. Not For Sale offers a chocolate fundraiser that helps you raise awareness of modern-day slavery as well as raising money to prevent it. With Valentine's Day coming up, this could be a great way for your organization to get involved!
- Speak With Your Money. Check out your favorite stores to see what they are (or not) doing to prevent modern-day slavery. Or instead of going to a store, shop online through organizations that help prevent slavery. Two examples are: The Freedom Store and Made By Survivors.
- Join the Student Abolitionist Movement. If you're a student, this is a great organization to get involved in. This network of students provides you with programs and resources to educate, advocate, and take action to help end modern-day slavery.
- Raise Awareness. Most people have no idea that modern-day slavery and human trafficking even exists. Talk about it with your friends, co-workers, small group, family, etc.
- Pray. Many times, this is left unsaid. Pray that God work through all people who are committed to ending human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Pray that God work in the lives of those who are doing the enslaving. And pray that God protects the victims who are being enslaved.
If you're involved in raising awareness for human trafficking or modern-day slavery, we'd love to share your story here on Soul Munchies next week. Just leave a comment below or send me an email and I'll be back in touch about how you can contribute.
This post was originally written in January 2011, so many of the original links were broken and have been removed. Because it is consistently one of the most popular posts on Soul Munchies, I have re-published it in its entirety here. Look for more updated information about human trafficking and how you can get involved in preventing it in the coming months.